TOYOTA LANDCRUISER 79 SERIES GXL CAB/CHASSIS.
This is the ridgey-didge `fourbie’ ute designed like a tank to go anywhere in this country without flinching.
Toyota recently upgraded the cab/chassis 79 to comply with Euro 5 emissions and to score a 5-star ANCAP crash rating.
It gets thicker chassis rails, more chassis cross members, more air bags and other electronics to avoid a crash.
The price has gone up five grand but it’s a better beast than the previous model which first appeared back in 1985.
Local Toyota engineers had input into the many changes introduced this time around – better seats, front and rear diff locks on the GXL driven, cruise control as standard, better fuel economy at 10.7 litres/100km and taller gearing in second and fifth cogs to make the thing drive better.
The 4.5-litre turbo diesel engine is similar to that in Landcruiser 200 series but only has one turbo.
It puts out a lazy 151kW/430Nm but feels like it will run forever. It probably will.
It looks like something out of the 80s because it is despite panel revisions and a power bulge bonnet. Same inside – old school but functional if a little hokey, especially the communications unit which you can’t read and which takes a bit of navigation. Speaking of which, there’s no satnav in this vehicle.
BIG AND BOXY
The 79 is a big boxy thing with a large tray. It feels like a truck to drive with a tad more creature comforts and less noise. You nearly need a stepladder to get in but it goes anywhere off road without a hiccup and backs up as a capable highway cruiser at the speed limit.
Towing is a cinch as it’s good for 3500kg plus a 1200kg payload in the tray. No problem. Looks a bit funny though with a significantly narrower rear axle than the front. That’s because they had to use a wide front axle to fit in the V8.
It was good to drive the 79 because it’s such a tough looking, uncompromised customer and people tend to get out of your way. And so they should.
➔ Big bruiser of a thing.
➔ Better performance than before.
➔ OK on fuel.
➔ Feels like it will go anywhere.
➔ Roomy cab for two.
➔ Big payload and towing capacity.
➔ Sounds pretty good for a diesel.
➔ Truck feel to controls.
➔ Robust construction.
➔ Safe with 5-star rating.
➔ Particle filter helps with Euro 5 emissions.
NOT SO MUCH
➔ Needs more torque from 4.5-litre diesel V8, 700Nm is a good number.
➔ At times difficult to close doors.
➔ Large turning circle.
➔ Bit thirsty.
➔ No satnav.
➔ Could do with an extra cog in the ‘box.
ENGINE: 4.5-litre turbo diesel V8 151kW/430Nm
TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual
0-100KMH: Who cares, a long time.
Nothing really except, at 2.5 times the price, Ram Laramie 3500 at $146,500.